Bombers star re-signs; Saints lure Pies coach

Essendon star Jordan Ridley has re-signed with the club until the end of 2026.

Ridley, 22, was already contracted until the end of 2024 but the Bombers announced on Thursday that the defender, who won the club’s best and fairest last year and finished fourth this year, had extended his deal by a further two seasons.

Jordan Ridley (left).Credit:Getty

“I really love this footy club, so it was obviously a pretty easy decision to extend for another couple of years,” Ridley said.

“It was really enjoyable playing under ‘Truck’ [Ben Rutten] and ‘Gia’ [Daniel Giansiracusa] this season, and as a new young backline with the likes of Laverde, Redman, Hind, Stewart and Heppell, we’re building our chemistry that will only continue to grow with another pre-season under our belts.

“We’re all spurred on from that elimination final result in Launceston a few weeks ago, and that will sit with us over the pre-season, but we’re all so hungry to take this club forward to achieve success and I’m excited to be a part of that over the years to come.”

Essendon list chief Adrian Dodoro lauded Ridley.

“Jordan is not only a very loyal player, but he is a person of terrific character and is held in very high regard from not only his teammates, but his coaches and staff here at the club,” Dodoro said.

“He is an incredibly humble young man who just goes about his business to get the most out of himself and his teammates, and the composure and reliability he brings to our backline is beyond his years.

“There is no doubt Jordan is one of our key pillars, and a long-term player for our club who will be a key part of this young group moving forward in the years to come.”

Meanwhile, St Kilda confirmed on Thursday that they had signed Damian Carroll as the club’s head of development and learning. Carroll had spent one year on Collingwood’s coaching panel following a stint at Hawthorn, where he worked with Brett Ratten, David Rath and Jarryd Roughead, all currently part of the Saints’ football department.

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“We’re really excited by what Damian can add to our football program,” Saints chief operating officer Simon Lethlean said.

“Damian’s had a long and successful career in developing footballers and we know that his experience with premiership sides will also be a great advantage for the club.

“The development of our younger players has never been more important with the impacts that COVID-19 has had on the pathway and state level competitions, and we believe Damian is the right person to lead this work.”

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